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The mysterious photon

  1. Oct 26, 2007 #1
    I found this statement interesting:

    "Every photon will spend some time as a virtual electron plus its antiparticle, the virtual positron, since this is allowed by quantum mechanics as described above. The hydrogen atom has two energy levels that coincidentally seem to have the same energy. But when the atom is in one of those levels it interacts differently with the virtual electron and positron than when it is in the other, so their energies are shifted a tiny bit because of those interactions. That shift was measured by Willis Lamb and the Lamb shift was born, for which a Nobel Prize was eventually awarded"

    Source: http://www.sciam.com/askexpert_ques...004D0F8-772A-1526-B72A83414B7F0000&topicID=13
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2007 #2
    Interesting fact: It was Willis Lamb himself who later came to the opinion that there are no such things as photons. I can temporarily make his article on this available of the web if there is some interest in reading it.

    Best wishes

  4. Oct 26, 2007 #3


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    Gold Member

    I would certainly like to read Lamb's article, if you can supply it. In the meantime, I'll look for links in hope of uncovering more.
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